Energy Policy

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2014 Energy Service Group Conference
19 February 2014

This conference notes that over the past year, debates around energy supply and retail have been very high profile across the UK involving senior politicians from across the political spectrum.

These debates have however, singularly failed to take into account the thousands of people who are employed in this sector many of whom are paid below the average wage in the UK. Nor have they offered longer term solutions to the many energy problems the nation faces.

It is clearly wrong that so many households face fuel poverty and are worried about paying utility bills while at the same time, energy companies are making vast profits, increasing returns to shareholders and in some cases finding ways to avoid corporate taxation.

However, the answer is not to take money out of the pockets of those who work hard day in day out, providing important services to energy customers. Our members working in the industry are themselves struggling to pay utility bills and finding themselves in hardship. Any measures to limit prices rises in the future must not result in the further loss of members jobs, outsourcing of work to offshore companies, and attacks on pay, terms and conditions.

This conference therefore believes that to properly address concerns around high prices, excess profits and the need to ensure adequate investment is made available to ensure sustainable supply into the future, a full national enquiry is required into the state of the energy industry. Such an enquiry, independently chaired, should consider all issues around the generation, distribution, supply of energy in the UK and overall questions of ownership. It should publicly report on its findings making clear recommendations and putting forward a range of options to address the challenges we all face. These options should rule nothing out.

Conference therefore calls on the Service Group Executive to:

i) Continue to campaign on behalf of our members in the Energy Service Group and to raise awareness with all stakeholders, that criticisms of the industry in general can have consequences for members’ jobs and livelihoods.

ii) Continue to engage with the shadow energy team to ensure they are aware of the impacts any policy development might have on our members.

iii) Seek to work with the broader union and NEC to ensure the views of members in the service group are understood when deliberating on and making policy concerning the energy sector.

iv). Pursue as a key policy objective with all stakeholders the call for a full national enquiry as set out in the text of the motion.